Skip to main content

tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  November 18, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

7:00 pm
challenged. and i commend you forç it, joe. it's long overdue. >> it has to be done. look, no other group would put up with this. >> yeah. >> and i think that collectively that coalition will -- i think they will have results. >> we will stay on this story. good to have you with us tonight, joe madison. >> thank you for invite me. >> you bet. tonight in our telephone survey i asked does today's vote against extending unemployment benefits disgust you? 96% of you said, yes. 4% of you said no. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. chris matthews, "hardball" is next. we'll see you back here tomorrow night. have a great one. a terror conviction rings hallow. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm michael smerconish. in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, trial and error. president obama pledged early on
7:01 pm
to close guantanamo and try some of the most infamous terror smts like khalid shaikh mohammed in civilian court but his plan was dealt a serious setback yesterday when the first gitmo detainee tried in federal court was acquitted on all but 1 of 285 charges relate to the neep98 african embassy bombings. and now republicans say that this verdict failed the test and they're urging the president to abandon civil trials for gitmo terrorists. democrats say the prosecution still won the case, the defendant will do serious time and this was a victory for the rule of law. our top story tonight, the terrorist trial turned political football. plus, remember all that heat the obama administration took for bailing out general motors. how critics derisively called the company government motors. well, today, gm's stock raised as much as $23 billion in what could be the biggest initial public offering in history. so can the president now turn this into a win for himself? and make the case that the revitalized aulto giant is on the verge -- having been on the verge of liquidation actually
7:02 pm
now has saved hundreds and thousand of jobs. despite her complaints about the mainstream media sarah palin's certainly gone mainstream lately. she talked to "the new york times" magazine and sat down with barbara walters. is this another sign that she's getting serious about 2012? also the republican governors are meeting this week to put their stamp on the party and they want michael steele out as rnc chair. and plete finish tonight with what i need to see before i'm convinced the economy is on its way back. we start with the political fallout over the trial of that guantanamo detainee. george pataki is of course the former governor of new york. jonathan turley is an attorney who's handled national security and terrorism cases and also a law professor at george washington university. . professor, why was a key witness not permitted to testify in this trial. >> well, for very simple reason. the bush administration tortured him. and while many people engage in euphemisms and bigous language waterboarding is torture. found torture under
7:03 pm
international law and found to be torture in u.s. courts and what in judge said is i'm not going to allow in evidence that was derived by torture. and those people that want us to introduce evidence, derive from torture, are taking us back, not just to the founding of this country, it's a perfectly medieval concept. that we long ago rejected. >> so, we lawyers would call this a fruit of a poisonous tree, having been barred from introduction into in trial. >> that's right. and this is a particularly poisonous tree. because what it does is it says that our country is fighting terrorism and the means used for terror. but we ourselves are willing to use torture. why? because it's useful, or because we're afraid, or because we hate someone. >> governor, can -- >> yes. >> can anyone say that the outcome would had been different in a tribunal. >> i certainly believe that it would have and hoped that would it have, but professor's recent vant exactly what's wrong with the whole idea of trying these
7:04 pm
murderers in civilian court system. he just talked about, not the fact that this person was intimately involved in the murder of 224 innocent civilians including 12 americans, but he goes after the bush involve am in enhanced interrogation. this should be, but was this person a murderer and a criminal and a terrorist. >> but governor -- >> not about our system of law. >> governor, we need to -- respectfully, i've got ask you an evidentiary question though, governor. is it clear to you, sir that this evidence would have come in in a tribunal because it's certainly not clear to me. >> george kaplan said in a footnote he about whether or not it would and that's perfectly understandable. but whole point here is that we should never be having these trials in the first place. we tried that after 1993, when the powers were bombed the first time. we brought criminal proceedings in the civil justice system against those transports who were responsible for murder. and what was the growth of that? september 11th and now we have captured foreign combants. this person was captured in
7:05 pm
pakistan after being intimately involved in the murder of 224 people. we shouldn't have to listen to the propaganda about what the united states did is wrong. >> professor turlee hang omen. professor turley, i read in "l.a. times" today that 400 terrorists, since september 11th, had been successfully tried in civilian courts. >> that's right we've had hundreds of trials. i've been counsel on terrorism cases, we have an entire system that tries terrorism cases. we tried the blind shaikh and convicted him and gave him life. we have a system that work very, very well but the governor's problem in this case is not just with the judge but 12 citizens that looked at this evidence and said we don't buy most of these counts but he was still convicted. >> that's totally wrong. >> governor, if i could just finish. >> just comment on what i believe. i'm critical of this administration for making the false step in the first instance to use the civilian system and not the military tribunal system
7:06 pm
i'm not criticizing the jury. should have had murder and been convicted. >> professor, you take the floor and then the governor. go ahead, professor. >> thank you very much for the opportunity. you are criticizing the system. you don't like the result. >> yes. >> and so you want to change the system and that's not the meaning of the rule of law. just hold the debate of well let's look at outcome to determine if we want to use federal courts is a terrible type of argument. we don't look at the results of cases to decide whether we want to use our court system. >> professor -- >> we convicted hundreds of people of terrorism and it's a system that works very well. this individual's going to go away for at least 20 years and probably life. but because the u.s. government didn't sweep the field on all of these counts, people are saying, my god, our system must be flawed. >> governor pataki, go ahead and respond to that and ask you another question. >> 285 charges, he's acquitted 284 times. when we had to listen to a juror is a criminal, who is a murderer and who is a terrorist. but for that one conspiracy conviction, this murderer, mass
7:07 pm
murderer would have walked. and professor, i agree with one thing you said, i'm not criticizing the decision after the fact. i was critical of the decision of the obama administration on day one. to use the civilian court system instead of military tribunals. and under the rule of law in the united states since the days of president washington and particularly under president lincoln there in the civil war, we have the legal and constitutional right to try enemy combatants as military -- in those military tribunals and forgive me, michael, for being a little emotional but i was there on september 11th. and i saw the consequences of our failure to respond appropriately after the bombings of 1993 and the bombings of the "cole" and i don't want to wait until there is another catastrophe for people to say that this decision to use the civilian court system is wrong, always has been and always will be. >> allow me to followup if i may about venue. a lot of conversation. you'll recall, the initial plan was to try ksm in federal court in manhattan and a lot of concerns were expressed in nease
7:08 pm
parts that the city wasn't prepared for that. it strikes me, sir that there has now been this successfully tried case, meaning without any violence, without any backlash, right here in new york. how, if at all does that change your perspective as to whether new york should be a venue for this type of a trial? is. >> michael, first of all, i wouldn't say that this was a successful trial. when a terrorist caught in pakistan responsible for the murder of 224 people is convict of conconspiracy charge, i think it is a failure. >> but, sir, that's the irony. >> by the way -- >> wait a minute, to me here are federal jurors seated in new york who acquitted him of all of those charges. >> playing -- playing with the evidence they were allowed to see, which did not include the evidence of the person who said that he sold the tnt used to blow up the embassies to the defendant and did not include the defendant's confession that he knew that this was going to happen the day before. they weren't allowed to hear that testimony because it was under the civilian systems and not under our military tribunal
7:09 pm
system and you throw around the world torture, professor, you're attorney general and,s have detailed what enhanced intyrgation is allowed to do consistent with our constitution and with the human rights and i believe, i have confidence in those who put their lives on the line to defend us that they do it the right way and what is being done the wrong way -- if. >> but you don't have confidence -- >> -- of the obama administration and the attorney general holder. >> go ahead, professor. >> but apparently you don't have confidence in american citizens. >> yes, i do. >> to society juries. if i could finish. >> they were not allowed to hear the evidence, the testimony of the person who nasdaq he sold the tnt used to blow up those embassies to the defendant who was acquitted a murder and terror. >> michael -- >> they did not get to hear his confession. he said that he knew the day before that this was going to happen. >> governor -- >> they didn't get to hear that because it was used -- it was tried in the wrong venue. in a military tribunal this murderer would had been convicted of murder as he
7:10 pm
should. >> go ahead and sunday. >> thank you, michael. first of all in a military tribunals the obama administration did change the rules in one respect to say that you could not introduce evidence that was derived from coercion or torture, but more importantly the argument being made by the governor of his frustration in listening to acquittal after acquittal before getting to the conviction is basically judging the system by its outcome. these are the same types of voices that we heard back -- this goes back to the beginning of our country when john adams was representing the accused soldiers in the boston massacre. there were many like the governor, who insisted that we should have special justice. they shouldn't be entitled to access to our courts and john adams stepped forward and said, no. we're not going to change who we are because of who we hate. we're not going to change it because we want a particular result. we've convicted hundreds of terrorists in this country and we've done it in a way that is transparent and legitimate. and when the -- when the governor talks about this debate of torture, it is a debate that
7:11 pm
has made the united states a laughingstock. sbllly internationally we've been condemned for our use of torture. >> professor, quick answer if you're able, should the target determine the way in which we proceed with these cases, whether it was a civilian target or whether it was a military installation or government facility. >> no in my view, that we should try terrorists in civilian court and use the system that they're trying to destroy to convict them. that's how we defeat terror, not by become more like them but remaining who we are. >> governor, if you give me a quick answer on that same question i'd be obliged. >> here we are is to uphold the rule of law and the rule of law in this country since our founding has been in the case of enemy combants and certainly in the case of terrorists who are not american citizens and not entitled to full protection of our american criminal justice system because they are not subject to our constitutional protections, then we have every right, and in fact i believe, an obligation to try them in military tribunals so we can do everything in our power to bring justice to those who murder said so many of our fellow americans, who were innocent of anything
7:12 pm
but trying to lead their lives. >> gentlemen, thank you for a lively conversation. governor george pataki, professor jonathan turley, much obliged. the new general motors issued its new public offering today and it's a big first step towards gettings bailout money back but can president obama turn gm success into a political victory for himself and will he get credit for helping gm turn itself around? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. our professors know. because they've been there. and they work closely with business leaders to develop curriculum to meet the needs of top businesses. which means when our graduates walk in the room, they're not only prepared... they're prepared to lead. devry university's keller graduate school of management. learn how to grow the business of you at keller.edu. to challenge ourselves on the most demanding track in the world. with us, in spirit, was every great car that we'd ever competed with.
7:13 pm
the bmw m5. and the mercedes-benz e63. for it was their amazing abilities that pushed us to refine, improve and, ultimately, develop the world's fastest production sedan. [ engine revving ] the cts-v, from cadillac. the new standard of the world. the house ethics committee has recommended censor for congressman charlie rangel. the new york2democrat was foun guilty of financial and fund-raising misconduct in violation of house ethics rules and now the full house will vote on the committee's recommendation. if congress congressman rangel is formally senseured likely to stand in the well of the house chamber to be verbally chastised by the speaker, short expulsion it's the most serious punishment in the house. we'll be right back.
7:14 pm
7:15 pm
7:16 pm
well, i think our first role should be shareholders that are looking to get out. you know, i -- i don't want to run auto companies. i don't want to run banks. i've got two wars that i've got run already. i've got more than enough to do so the sooner that we can get out of that business, the better offoff that we're going to be. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama in april of 2009 talking about the government's bailout of general motors. now, today the shareholder in chief officially started to get out. gm shares went on sale at the new york stock exchange in what could be the largest initial public offering in u.s. history. and late today president obama react to the first dave trading. >> today, one of the toughest tales of the recession took another big step towards becoming a success story. general motors relaunched itself
7:17 pm
as a public company cutting the government's stake in the company by nearly half. once more, american taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested. >> joining us now is michigan governor, jennifer granholm. governor, thank you for being with us. what did it mean to your state? >> well there's an old expression that says, as goes general motors, so goes michigan. obviously this is great news for us. i mean you know can you imagine, michael, what would have happened if the administration didn't intervene, in fact there was a national study -- an organization yesterday called the center for automotive research that issued a publication that described what would have happened and in america we would have lost 1.4 million jobs. what a horrible tragedy that would had been. instead, the united states did the wise thing and the taxpayers are going to be paid back and we have an auto industry that's lean and lighter and people are working and for the first time
7:18 pm
now since the year 2000, we've actually seen hiring in the auto -- in the american auto industry. it is -- it's really terrific. >> youç make reference to the taxpayers being paid back. is it your expectation that they'll be paid back in full, and second part of that question is that a fair barometer by which to evaluate this whole transaction? >> well, that second question is a really good question. but obviously everyone wants the taxpayers to be paid back in full. it won't be done by this first initial public offering but they expect to have subsequent sales that should be able to get them there and they certainly did very well in this one. i think it is the largest public offering in the united states history and if you do the green shoe expansion, as they say, it could be the largest global public offering which is pretty amazing. but the question that you asked about, is it worth it essenti essential essentially. is it worth having the taxpayers step even if they didn't get fully paid back, and i would say, boy the consequences of not
7:19 pm
stepping in are so horrific to the manufacturing sector, to the whole tentacles of u.s. manufacturing, that it certainly is worth them stepping in. >> governor, you heard the president perhaps at the outset of this conversation, where he said, look, i'm already you know dealing with two wars. i don't want to be in the banking business and i don't want to be in the automotive business. and yet the suspicion lurks in some quarters that he does want to be in all of these things. address that issue from a political standpoint if you would. >> why would he want to be? that's so crazy. why would he want to be engaged in running an auto company? what he want to be engaged in was saving american jobs and that's exactly what he did. the great thing, if you talk to -- like don ackerson who is by all accounts a republican, he runs the company. they were not engaged in selecting the new head of general motors. they haven't been engaged in the day-to-day discussions of how to do this. they wanted to simply save a great american company and most importantly, the jobs that go with it including the entire
7:20 pm
manufacturing backbone of the united states. so this is one step. this is not the whole thing but it certainly is a great step for recovery of the national economy. chrysler's initial public offering which will hopefully be next year. we hope to be equally successful. but iç can tell you just from seat in michigan, where every single month this year now, michigan has seen our unemployment rates ticking down, because of course we the largest unemployment in the nation due to our concentration in automotive manufacturing this is great progress. >> the natural unemployment number at about 9.6%. michigan you still have your hands full at 13%. what needs to take place -- >> 12.8%. 12.8%. and actually yesterday came out at 12.8%. now that you can declare victory on that but it was almost 15%. and we're seeing -- in fact the michigan unemployment numbers, michael have, actually beat, in terms of the drop of unemployment claims, every
7:21 pm
single month in 2010 have beat to the u.s. unemployment claim drops percentagewise by almost double. so we feel good. we feel like manufacturing is back on track but we certainly have a long way to go. >> governor granholm, many thanks for your time. >> you bet, thank you. >> go now to bob king the president of the united auto workers. mr. king, i saw where you were quoted as saying, it is today is a dramatically different company. how so, sir? >> well in many different ways. one is that the level of propration in involvement in our membership. the great quality that we're producing, working together with management, the tremendously global best productivity of our plants. the great products that we're providing to the consumers. the level involvement from our membership so it's exciting times and today's ipso just great for our membership, both active and retired. >> am i correct in saying that your current hold the uaw's hold is about 175%, and if so do you
7:22 pm
intend to exercise your right to sell any of that soon? >> well, it's technically it's veba and under the law -- under the court decisions and the court-approved veba documents we actually have an independent fiduciary who makes the final decisions in when stock will be sold or not sold. >> i'd be remised if i didn't ask you about today's effort by the republicans in the house to block the extension of unemployment benefits. here's my question, do you believe that at any point the perpetiation of unemployment benefits;h!ecome a disincentiv for individuals to find work? you than argument. i'd love to hear you respond to. >> that's ridiculous. that's ridiculous. that's ridiculous. there are five or six people laid off for every job there is available. people want to be back working. i know when our members are laid off they're calling us all the time wanting to get back to work. people want to work. there's so many great americans who are laid off today through no fault of their own. it's just to me morally wrong,
7:23 pm
not to extend unemployment and help them through this really difficult time and we should be creating public works jobs. we should be putting people back to work and building a new infrastructure, a new power grid, new highway system, new sewer systems, there's nof so much to do in america to make us competitive. i've seen reports that it takes $2 trillion to get our infrastructure competitive. china is spending so much more money to make that country globally competitive than we are. it's time for the republicans and government to do what we did in michigan. and michigan, we took people that used to have really different viewpoints from labor, from management, from government and we showed that we can all work together for the benefit of america. this is a victory today north just for uaw members, not just for gm shareholders, but for all of america. we need manufacturing jobs in america to be a strong country. and we need this country to come together and work together to be able to compete in the 21st
7:24 pm
century. republicans unwillingness to spend on our infrastructure is wrong. and i call on them in the spirit of cooperation and the spirit of working together. we've done it at general motors, with the uaw,ane with the government, with chrysler with ford. we're working together today for the good of everyone. we need our government to come together. we need the political parents to come together and support president obama's leadership in wanting to rebuild the infrastructure. >> thank you so much. >> sorry. >> thank you, bob king. up next, if you think that there is too much partisanship in washington, take a look at this fight in argentina. we'll tell you what that's all about next in "the sideshow."
7:25 pm
if you live for performance, upgrade to castrol edge advanced synthetic oil. with eight times better wear protection than mobil 1. castrol edge. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's
7:26 pm
better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. but basically, i'm a runner. last year. (oof). i had a bum knee that needed surgery. but it got complicated, because i had an old injury. so i wanted a doctor who had done this before. and unitedhealthcare's database helped me find a surgeon. you know you can't have great legs, if you don't have good knees. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
7:27 pm
welcome back to "hardball." time for the "sideshow."
7:28 pm
first up, let's put political fights in perspective. we complain here about the coursening of political discourse, check out what happened in the argentinean legislature during a budget fight. >> hey, hey! explaining her smack the argentinean poll said he wore me out because i've been putting up with him all year long. he kept shouting without making a proposal. does that sound familiar. next sheriff george arpaio's posse. if you think you see the hulling, you're not hallucinating. he is enlisted illegal immigration fighters. also sworn in "mission impossible" actor peter lupus a retired police officer who's name is the nephew of the other wyatt erp.
7:29 pm
and now to the texas birther bill. a state rep has introduced a bill requiring any candidate for president to show their birth certificate to the texas secretary of state. representative leo berman who fired the bill says it is necessary because, quote, we have a president whomt american people don't know if he was fwhoern kenya or some other place. the dallas voice may have summed up this story best with the headline "texas hops on the crazy train again."ç and now for tonight's big number. the philadelphia eagles. lincoln financial field is about to broadcast greenest stadium in the world. by this time next year, the stadium will be fitted with at least 2,500 solar panels and that is tonight's big number. 2,500. up next, sarah palin often calls the mainstream media, the lame stream media. but with the new book of a profile of "the new york times" and an interview with abc, in an interview, she says she could beat president obama. she's happy to go mainstream if
7:30 pm
it helps her, but with her hand picked candidate loses in the senate race, how mainstream is her appeal? ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the 100% electric nissan leaf. ♪ innovation for the planet, innovation for all. [ breathes deeply, wind blows ] something wrong with your squeegee, kid? uh, i'm a little sick. sick?! you gonna let a sore throat beat you? you're fearless! ahhhhhhhhh! atta boy! [ male announcer ] halls. a pep talk in every drop.
7:31 pm
[ tires screech ] an accident doesn't have to slow you down. from new car replacement and guaranteed repairs to 24-hour claims assistance, we do all we can to help you move on. liberty mutual auto insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
7:32 pm
7:33 pm
i'm verona de la cruz. authorities in ohio have found the bodies. they werenowned garbage bags about 20 miles from their home. police say a man charge charged with kidnapping the family's 13-year-old daughter is their lead suspect. the house ethics committee is recommending censure for congressman charlie rangel. after he was found of violated congressional fund-raising rules. meanwhile, republicans in the house are blocking an extension of jobless benefits, more than 2 million unemployed americans will lose their benefits on december 1st. and lawmakers have cut a dealç postponing a massive cutn medicare pay for doctors. doctors group his threatened to stop take new medicare patient
7:34 pm
business if the cut went through. the chevrolet volt has racked up another major award being named green car of the year at the l.a. auto show. and today's ipo from general motors field a global stock rally more than 100 million shares traded hands. share prices climbing about 3.5%. and now back to "hardball." i'm looking at the lay of the land now and trying to figure that out if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it's a good thing. >> if you ran for president, could you beat barack obama. >> i believe so. welcome back to "hardball." i'm michael smerconish. now both in that abc interview with barbara walters and in this sunday's upcoming new york times magazine interview, sarah palin is engaging with a group she usually disdains, the mainstream or in her words, lame stream
7:35 pm
media. why is sarah palin doing this? and is it a good move for her? norah o'donnell is of course msnbc's chief washington correspondent. jay newton-small is washington correspondent for "time" magazine. norah does this represent some kind of a change on behalf of governor palin. >> well, this is the second time this week that she has suggested that she is interested in a presidential run. i think the reason that she's giving more interviews, she's usually pretty secretive and doesn't like the lame-stream media is because she's got a book to sell that's out "america by heart" and also because she has a reality tv show on bravo, and so all of these interviews, all this press attention just increases the palin brand, palin inc., for whether she wants to run or whether she just wants to continue to make lots of money. >> jay, how do you read the tea leaves on this? and does she require engagement of the mainstream or lamestream media in order win a republican nomination? >> well, certainly i think if you're going to become -- if you're going to actually run for president you have to do a certain amount of lamestream
7:36 pm
media no matter what. but -- but i think you know honestly, this is a very much her playbookç when she ran for governor of alaska. she quit her job of the head of the oil and gas commission. started calling juneau corrupt saying it was an all-boys club, the establishment was terrible and she went around the state giving lots of speeches drumming up the anticipation and everyone was going, is she going to run, is she going to sflun she kept saying if the candidates aren't good out there maybe she would step in, and under the last possible minute she announced her candidacy and then became governor. won the governorship that way. i think it's very floor is norah, i guess what i'm thinking is that bedrock of support that she maintains within the gop they don't care if she sits down with "the new york times." they'll probably cheer if if she doesn't give the day to "the times." >> fee f she runs for president she'll probably do it in a different way a very nontraditional way that she scores points with the american public by running against meetia, the lamestream media.
7:37 pm
and so it work for her. this sort of untraditional candidate. however, she will have to submit to questions. not just in interviews with reporters or barbara walters, but if she decides to sit on a stage with you know ten other republicans who are vying for the republican presidential nomination so she'll have to take questions in that respect not from whoever is asking the questions at a debate but other republicans who may be slinging broad sides and questioning her qualifications. >> jay, let's assess the success bristol pale sin having on "dancing with the stars." how do you -- come on, i've waited three questions to get into it so -- >> i think you know, definitely it shows that there are people out there, there's eye big bagbase out there that's hungry street for sarah palin. and in the meantime they get to press the button as many times as they would like for bristol palin, so if she's running for president it's a good sign for her that she's got a very excited sfwhies norah, some some of the book excerpts have been leak online. bristol writes of levi johnston.
7:38 pm
i helped deliver tripp. i cut the cord between my daughter and her son. >> yeah, i mean the book is called "america by heart," but she uses this book to rip the heart out of levi johnston once again. and settle some old scores not only does she go after him, talking about the fact that he wasn't there for the birth and she had to cut the umbilical cord and also she goes after some of the reality çtv stars "american idol" even though her daughter is on a reality tv show and even though sarah palin is on a reality tv show or a travel dock you log or whatever it is called "the sarah palin's alaska" on tlc so, she takes a lot of potshots defending her own daughter bristol in her chastity saying that i'd take bristol over murphy brown every day. she's dredging up murphy brown. >> allow me to put that up on the screen as well. she brings up the old murphy brown in this excerpt. i'm biassed of course but given a choice of role models between bristol and murphy brown i choose bristol.
7:39 pm
jay newton. small, that too, plays well with the base. >> absolutely. i mean all of this just plays super well with the base. the more that you throw at her and the more that she sort of seems like everybody else, the sorts of everyday woman, common america, soccer mom, protect mama grizzly, protecting her cubs, the more they love her for it, and so you know, it has -- it just makes her more popular and it's going to be very hard for i think her competition if she does run to actually get you know criticisms that will stick against her. >> how does it play, norah, within the establishment republican crowd? the show, by the way, on tlc, i thought was a great postcard for alaska. i don't know what it does to expand her base, but how is she regarded by the establishment types within the grand ole party. >> well, look, karl rove has said openly that he doesn't think that she has the qualifications to be commander in chief, that doing a reality show is not something that proves that you have the gravitas to be commander in chief. a lot of people certainly
7:40 pm
involved in republican base. but she doesn't represent establishment and if there is any proof of what happened in the last election there's an antiestablishment wave out there that sarah palin wants to ride and that's why i think that many republicans view her as dangerous to their own power structure. and so there is a sense of concern about sort of how to weigh this, if she does get in the presidential debates, i'm personally fascinated that there's no republican that's really willing to take her on directly. to question her, her qualifications, her policy ideas. the only person that seems to be taking on sarah palin these days is lisa murkowski. another woman, who just dealt sarah palin and her brand and her power structure aç serious blow by actually winning there in alaska. >> jay newton-small, if i'm mitt romney i do want her getting in on this, on the argument that she's going to split a conservative vote earnings if there's -- there will certainly be other conservatives in it, so she divides that pie and able to get any nomination.
7:41 pm
>> i think if i'm mitt romney i'm terrified of an idea of a sarah palin candidacy because she's really a base whisperer. she's someone who speaks to the base in a way that he doesn't and cannot. and she's -- so i think she's at the 800--pound gorilla in the race until she actually gives into it and all of the other candidates will be wait fog see with bated breath what she does. >> but i guess what i'm thinking, norah, if she gets in she splits that conservative vote nute, maybe governor huckabee and whoever else from the more right side of that aisle gets into the presidential race. >> look i think that it's a great point. certainly huckabee won in iowa last time. if palin's in there, they could split the vote and that would benefit someone like romney, who may be a more establishment choice, a more mainstream choice, whatever you want to call it. so i think that's one calculation. but, still, mitt romney and others are concerned that if she gets in the field that she can win it. because she, at this point, she can really bring out the base. people love her.
7:42 pm
even though we haven't gotten to any discussion about policy or solutions or ways to sort of change this country. >> jay, did you see anything in the tlc show that that surprised you having covered her as closely as have. >> no that's sort classic pale wlin i was up there with her in alaska up in dillingham. i went without her fishing and that's just very much her. she reallyu know she lights up when she talks about alaska. she loves talking about alaska. when you sit down to interview her it's a complete dr. jekyll and mr. hide. what do you want to know? but in alaska she loves talking about taken she'll talk about it until she turns blue in the face. >> interesting to read the full -- the totality of what comes out on "the times" on sunday. thank you norah o'donnell, thank you jay newton-small, appreciate your time. some of the republican parents' rising stars are their governor and despiteç electora express the governor's association is putting more pressure on michael steele to give up his post. that's ahead. this is "hardball" on only on
7:43 pm
msnbc. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at&t and blackberry have teamed up to keep your business moving. blackberry torch now just $99.99. only from at&t. rethink possible. lord of the carry-on. sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. go national. go like a pro.
7:44 pm
here's a bombshell of bipartisanship. president obama will award the presidential medal of freedom next year to former president george herbert walker bush. it's the nation's highest civilian honor. in the 41st president leads an eclectic list of honorees including warren buffett. bill russell. baseball hall of famer stan musial. chelioist yoyo ma. and angela merkel. "hardball" will be right back. ♪
7:45 pm
it's true. you never forget your first subaru. one month, five years after you do retire? ♪ client comes in and they have a box. and inside that box is their financial life. people wake up and realize i better start doing something. we open up that box. we organize it. and we make decisions. we really are here to help you. they look back and think, "wow. i never thought i could do this." but we've actually done it. [ male announcer ] visit ameriprise.com and put a confident retirement more within reach.
7:46 pm
7:47 pm
welcome back to "hardball." republican governors are celebrating their big wins at their annual convention this week in san diego. but they're also looking toward 2012 in a possible ousting of current rnc chairman, michael steele. joining me now politico'sç jonathan martin, who's covering the rga in san diego. and republican consultant john feehery. jonathan martin, you reported for politico, something that haley barbour had said that i want to put up on the screen and let everybody evaluate. he told you that, quote, to defeat an incumbent president, even one that's got the political problems of this one, the rnc has to operate at absolute maximum capacity, and this year they've operated far, far below that in terms of fund-raising, in terms of grassroots' organization and in terms of building strong, self-reliant state parties. some might say michael steele deserves better than that given it the recent success of the
7:48 pm
gop. >> yeah, he definitely has his defenders and he actually still has a core of support on the rnc and there's no doubt this was a great year for republicans. what i think haley barbour and steele critics are saying is that was not because of michael steele's -- in some ways to spite michael steele because of the financial issues. that they did not raise a whole lot of money compared to more recent years. and they did not fund the vote are turnout operations because of that lack of money in some key states. so the concern among folks like barbour is, they left some races on the table this year because of the lack of funds at the rnc and looking towards 2012, i think that there is this deep concern of not wanting to make the same mistakes financially next time around when they're going to need even more cash taking up president obama. >> john feehery, you can't beat somebody with nobody, if not steele, who? it is. >> a good question, michael. a couple of candidates, one is maria seno who is an operation's
7:49 pm
genius, probably one of the best people that we know to turn campaigns around and get funding. she has a wide experience in grassroots' organization. and nick aires who worked at the rga under haley barbour. took a lot of slack from the are nc because the rnc did not perform at the top, top levels i think that haley barbour probably knows more about how successful rnc can work because he was probably the best chairman that the party's had in the last 40 years. and so he knows what he's talking about. so either nick aires or maria seno a lot obç the two candidats that people here in washington would like. >> another governor, governor mcdonell of virginia on msnbc earlier today. >> yeah. >> michael steele is a good person. he helped me tremendously last year when i ran for governor but i could tell you many of us have great concern about the fiscal state of the rnc, about the lack of effort and effectiveness at the grassroots' ground game
7:50 pm
during this last election cycle we lost a couple of close elections that might have made a difference. >> it's not governor barbour and not governor mconly did. where's bedrock of support among his republican governors? >> well, he's lacking support when it comes to governors, there's no question about it. the past two days here in san diego the gop governors have in the private, talked at great consensus that they want somebody else that is not michael steele. that's the governor. keep in mind, the folks that will be voting on the next rnc are not the nation's governors, they're the 168 members of the rnc. so this is not a smoke-filled room deal. this is going to be among gop activists. the governing body of the rnc. of course governors have influence. but they do not have that direct access to leveraging their vote. at least in most cases.
7:51 pm
while you're seeing folks like john in washington, like the governors across the country, raising concerns about michael steel, this is a campaign that is taking place within the rnc family. there's an outside game and inside game. >> john, we just showed a video clip of the new faces of the republican governors. who are the potential superstars on that stage? >> i really like john kasich. when he was budget committee chairman, he's someone who has a lot of passion. i think he'll be a terrific leader. looking at the governors entirely, you've got a potential presidential, mitch daniels, i think he's a terrific governor. the thing what happened with these governors was in the mid '90s when you had angler andç tommy thompson. they have to balance the been and do the job. they can't pontificate in
7:52 pm
washington. i think that governors get away from the washington nonsense and actually have to govern. that's why i think you're going to see the next president out of that group. >> there are a lot of firsts on that stage. take a look at some of the firsts. susanna martinez, the first female hispanic governor. mary fallon, oklahoma's first it female governor. brian sandoval, nevada's first hispanic governor. it's the face of diversity. >> for a party that is known as a white guys party, which was an important election year. the operatives put an important effort into this. a more diverse array of faces to run for office. they had some impressive success. there are two indian-american governors. both are republican. i think they definitely made strides when it comes to minorities. however, there is obviously still work to do for the party. part of the reason the gop
7:53 pm
didn't do as well out west this year is because of hispanics. they still have that challenge when it comes to moving beyond their core demographic. they have an easier case to make to attract minorities when they have folks who are being elected to state wide office who themselves are minorities. >> we have a minute left. i'm thinking there were gains in russ belt states where tom corbett stands to that stage. what are the political implications for 2012, now you've got gop governors in those sort of states? >> the party's more divorce, er yes. it's more geographically diverse. i think we'll do very well in the midwest. i think our message will be less southern based and more national based. i think that speaks well for our campaigners in the next election. i think we'll do very well. >> give me one name from that group that you have your eye on as presidential timber.
7:54 pm
each fellow, real quick. >> i like haley barbour. i think he's going to be president. >> jonathan martin? >> i think mitch daniels from indiana andç governor barbour e two governors to keep an eye on. and don't keep your eye off bobby jindal. >> when we return, we'll have thoughts on what i need to see to be convinced the economy is getting strong again. okay, now here's our holiday gift list. aww, not the mall. well, i'll do the shopping... if you do the shipping. shipping's a hassle. i'll go to the mall. hey. hi. you know, holiday shipping's easy with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. yea, i know. oh, you're good. good luck! priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.90 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
7:55 pm
i won't. ♪ [ female announcer ] clear some snow. ♪ or spread a little warmth. maxwell house gives you a rich full flavored cup of coffee so you can be good to the last drop.
7:56 pm
maxwell house gives you a rich full flavored cup of coffee missing something? now you get a cleanser with scope freshness. ♪ new fixodent plus scope ingredients. ♪ cleans...kills germs that cause denture odors... and provides your dentures with the freshness of scope. ♪ new fixodent cleanser plus scope ingredients. everyone has someone to go heart healthy for. who's your someone? campbell's healthy request can help. low cholesterol, zero grams trans fat, and a healthy level of sodium. it's amazing what soup can do.
7:57 pm
7:58 pm
finally tonight, a word about the economy. every at a offers yet another of economic indises to examine. i have a hard time distinguishing gdp from my gps. i hope that the economy is turning around but i need results i can see, touch, appreciate. i've developed my own list of economic indicators that will suggest things have turned a corner. less pessimism. when jim cramer and the other financialç gurus say we're on r way back, we really will be. my wife and mother are realtors. they say they've got good product at low interest rates and still many buyers remain on the sidelines. when i hear from them that lower and moderately priced product is moving again, that'll be a good sign. we get a number of magazines at
7:59 pm
our house. i mentally weigh them. many have been very thin in the last few years. i'm looking for fatter magazines. fourth, when professional sports teams stop calling my house offering low rates if for partial season ticket plans, i'll know the country is bouncing back. here's another. when the market for discretionary things for kids, like piano lessons, improves. six, have you noticed the uptick in resume padding via online classes and expedited career training? keep an eye for when those services are less in demand. visit a home demand on a saturday morning and you'll see a lot that's jammed with weekend warriors. i suspect many are doing work they would have once hired out. fewer cars at home depot might actually be a good thing. speaking of parking lots, we love cracker barrel. every cracker barrel i pack is jammed. many fine dining spots have openings.
left
right